When the Dallas Cowboys traveled to Atlanta for their Week 10 matchup, they were doing so without their star running back Ezekiel Elliot. The Cowboys running back has been fighting a league suspension that stemmed from a domestic violence case that occurred before the season began. Despite the acquisitions, Elliot was able to play in NFL games due to a pending appeal issued by the Cowboys starting running back. The league finally was able to put one of the league’s most productive tailbacks on the bench which led to a Falcons victory. The result was quite gruesome as the mighty birds of Atlanta were to the shut down the Cowboys, holding them to a 27-7 score.

Can the Dallas Cowboys win football games without their star running back in the backfield?

Feeling different in the backfield

The game felt a little different for the Cowboys on Sunday (Nov. 12). This would be the first game of the season that they would be playing without their superstar running back Ezekiel Elliot. Veteran Alfred Morris would do his best to replace Elliot in the backfield but the Cowboys had bigger problems. The Cowboys starting left tackle Tyron Smith was also inactive Sunday due to on-going back and groin injuries. The Cowboys have always been a team that was able to produce stellar offensive line play for their running backs and receivers but the keys injuries Sunday showed us how crucial Elliot and Smith actually are to "America’s Team."

Dak Prescott was sacked six times by Adrian Clayborn as the offensive lines did not have an answer for the pass rush of the Falcons defense.

When it is hard for a team to provide solid pass protection the run game will always suffer as a result. Alfred Morris and Dak Prescott were the two rushing leaders on the night for Dallas as they combined for 95 yards and one touchdown.

Can the Cowboys last?

So far in 2017, Ezekiel Elliot has rushed for close to 800 yards in eight games.

His seven touchdowns on the season have helped his team put away games against close opponents when the time was not on their side. According to ESPN Ian Rappoport Elliot could miss up to the next six games after he lost his motion for a preliminary injunction on Thursday. A six-game suspension does not put him out for the remainder of the season but the Cowboys must continue to pick up the slack the best they can.

Ezekiel Elliot will miss three NFC East matchups which could help the Cowboys gain a better seat in the upcoming playoffs. With Their rivals the Philadelphia Eagles sitting at the top of the Conference, the Cowboys must persevere without the second best rusher in the NFL for them to have an opportunity to make this year a successful finish to their season.